Special characters in Find & Replace dialogue

Alt-return doesn’t work for me in the Find & Replace. What could be wrong? Is there anything in Scrivener or Global Prefs. I might have turned on or off that could cause the problem.

And where are all the related shortcuts for LFs, CRs, etc.? In most programs, they are listed in the Find dialogues.



I noticed this recently, too, but in another application. What version of the OS are you using? I’m on the latest Leopard; perhaps Apple changed something.

Here is something I dug up that may help

Hope that helps

I’m using the latest Leopard, too.

BTW, I checked Bean and TextEdit and it’s also missing there (if it ever was there in the first place). Nisus still has the capability, and of course my old fallback, Tex-Edit Plus. Probably TextWrangler, too, and other text editors. Also, Pages has an “Advanced” tab on its Find function.

How odd that it could be a OS thing that would affect software programs on a seemingly random basis. Not to mention that it’s totally indispensable.

I look forward to learning what you discover.


( ⌃+q ) then (What ever key you need)

So a return in the find dialog box would be.

⌃+q then RETURN

Thanks for the tip. Always something new to learn, and this is the place !

Hmm, I’m on 10.5.4, and opt-return works fine for me in the Find panel… Strange.

Strange is right. At least, thanks to Wock, I’ve got a workaround.

Wait a minute. Now opt-return is working for me, too.

But nothing shows up in the find and replace boxes. Is that how it’s working for you?

Wait a minute. Now opt-return is working for me, too.

But nothing shows up in the find and replace boxes. Is that how it’s working for you?

When you use opt-return, you don’t see anything because you are just entering a return, if that’s what you mean…

Could I ask for some clarification? I’m trying to find and replace all single-returns with double-returns. Is there a simple way to do that?


Not really. Although you can hold the Option key down to enter a return character in the Find and Replace panel, the trouble in your case is that if you already have double returns in the text, replacing all single returns with a double return will result in existing double returns to become quadruple returns. But that could be fixed by doing a second Find and Replace afterwards to replace all quadruple returns with double returns. So the process would be:

  1. Hold the Option key down and hit return in the “Find” box and then do the same to enter two returns in the “Replace” box (I would recommend backing up the project first if you do a global, project replace, just to be safe).

  2. Replace All.

  3. Now hold the Option key down and enter four returns in the “Find” box (select all in the “Find” box first so that you replace the contents with four returns). The “Replace” box should still have the double return in there.

  4. Replace All.

Steps (3) and (4) just fix any double returns that got turned into quadruple returns in steps (1) and (2).

Hope that helps.

All the best,